Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Study shows that study results are often misleading

From MSN/Sympatico:

Nun Study Counters Notion of 'God Spot' in Brain

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) - High-tech MRIs of the brains of a group of nuns suggest there is no single so-called "God spot" in the brain.

Nun Study Counters Notion of 'God Spot' in Brain

Instead, mystical experiences appear to involve a number of brain regions and systems that normally control a variety of functions, including self-consciousness, emotion and body representation, said a Canadian team at the Universite de Montreal.

Their findings were published in the current issue of Neuroscience Letters.

The researchers conducted real-time functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans on 15 cloistered Carmelite nuns, aged 23 to 64. During the brain scan, each nun was asked to relive a mystical experience, rather than to actually attempt to achieve one.

"I was obliged to do it this way, seeing as the nuns are unable to call upon God at will," Dr. Mario Beauregard, of the department of psychology, said in a prepared statement.

The results showed that a dozen different regions of the brain were activated when the nuns relived a mystical experience. The finding contradicts previous research that suggested that a specific brain region may be designed for communication with God.

This counter-study negates itself, as it's really just a study of memory. It's not like the nuns were actually having religious experiences, they were just recalling them.


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